The MESCAL project-team manages a cluster computing center on the Grenoble campus. The center manages different architectures: a 48 bi-processors PC (ID-POT), and the center is involved with a cluster based on 110 bi-processors Itanium2 (ICluster-2) and a new one based on 34 bi-processor quad-core XEON (Digitalis) located at INRIA. The three of them are integrated in the Grid'5000 grid platform. More than 60 research projects in France have used the architectures, especially the 204 processors Icluster-2. Half of them have run typical numerical applications on this machine, the remainder has worked on middleware and new technology for cluster and grid computing. The Icluster-2 has been stopped this year (2009) as it was getting obsolete and has been replaced by the Digitalis platform. The Digitalis cluster is also meant to replace the Grimage platform.
IDPOT is a cluster hosted in the ID-IMAG laboratory. It is composed of 48 Bi-Xeon with 1.5 GB of memory (DELL 1600 SC) and a gigabit ethernet network.
Was the first supercomputer in France based on the Itanium2 processor, the I-Cluster2 cluster is composed of 104 Bi-Itanium2 (900 Mhz) with 3 GB of memory, gigabit ethernet and Myrinet networks. I-cluster2 is located in Montbonnot, near Grenoble, in INRIA Rhône-Alpes. Its performance is 561 GigaFlop using the Linpack benchmark, and it was ranked 283rd on TOP 500 in November 2003. Stopped in 2009, replaced by the digitalis platform.
Grid'5000 is a research effort developping a large scale nation wide infrastructure for Grid research. 17 laboratories from 9 sites are involved. Both IDPOT and I-Cluster2 are part of Grid'5000.
CIMENT GRID (or CiGri) builds a city-wide lightweight grid by federating computing resources from several laboratories.
To carry out dimensioning experiments, MESCAL has bought (together with MOAIS) two NUMA multiprocessor platforms.
The first platform holds 8 dual-core AMD Opteron 2.2 GHZ NUMA chips (hence a total of 16 cores) and 32 GB of memory. The measured NUMA factor between chips ranges from 1.06 (for neighbor chips) to 1.4 (for most distant chips). In terms of software, the platform runs under Linux and has the PGI (Portland Group Inc.) compiler and the Totalview debugger installed on it.
The second platform is a Bull Novascale multiprocessor machine with 8 Intel Itanium 1.5 GHZ chips and 16 GB of memory. The 8 processors are physically located in two Quad Brick Blocks (QBB). The NUMA factor is 2 between the 2 QBBs. This machine has been used by the PhD students awarded with Bull scholarships and the LIPS project.